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SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER ($36) is the latest bit of direct-to-video, live action silliness to be adapted from the classic cartoon characters. Overall, SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER has definite kid appeal, but long time fans may be less impressed. This being a follow-up to SCOOBY-DOO! THE MYSTERY BEGINS, SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER features the same cast of much younger actors, as in the previous outing, along with a CGI Scooby-Doo. The plot of SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER is a bit scattershot and adds bits of teen romance to the character dynamics, which kind of falls flat, but this is still enough humor and mystery to move things along.

The premise of SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER finds Fred (Robbie Amell), Daphne (Kate Melton), Velma (Hayley Kiyoko) and Shaggy (Nick Palatas) having to take summer jobs at a new country club run by Daphne’s Uncle to pay for the damages they caused while solving another mystery. Turns out, the country club was built on the lake at Erie Point, which was supposedly cursed by a witch… who unleashed a lake monster on the populace centuries before. Of course, no one believed in the old legend, while building the country club. However, when the lake monster makes an uninvited appearance at the newly completed country club, the Scooby Gang find themselves with a new mystery on their hands. The cast of SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER also features Ted McGinley, Richard Moll, Nichelle Nichols, Beverly Sanders and Marion Ross. I have to give the young leading actors credit; they pretty much nail the roles (especially Kiyoko and Palatas) and make some of the material fly much better than it should.

Warner Home Video has made SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER available on Blu-ray Disc in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio presentation that has been encoded onto the disc with the AVC codec. SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER comes with a pretty sweet 1080p presentation that highlights Dean Cundey’s attractive cinematography. Cundey’s track record for getting superior results on modest budgets is well evidenced here. For the most part, the image is bright, crisp and clear, although, modest filtering has been employed most of the time to blend the CGI and live action elements. Some shots show impressive fine detail, while the majority are a bit more diffuse in appearance. Color reproduction is quite good, with the fully saturated hues coming across in a rock solid fashion. Flesh tones are always attractive. Blacks are inky, whites are clean, plus the image boasts smooth contrast and pretty nice shadow detail. The elements from which SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER has been mastered are free from flaws. Grain is fairly minimal.

SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER is presented on Blu-ray Disc with a 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This being a direct-to-video release the sound design is reasonably active, with decent usage of the outlying channels for music and effects. Much of the material is talky by nature, so the sound collapses back to the center for the dialogue passages. Thanks to the lossless encode, fidelity is above par, with both the music and effects getting a nice boost. Dialogue is clean and easy to understand. French and Spanish Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks are also encoded onto the disc, as are English and Spanish subtitles.

The interactive menus allow one access to the standard scene selection and set up features, as well as the extras. Featurettes and other programs include the following: Jeepers! Jinkies! Zoinks: A Tribute To The Classic Gags Of Scooby-Doo (eight minutes), Scooby-Doo: Rock, Rap And Rollerskates (eight minutes) and: Ruh-Roh! Gag Reel (five minutes of flubs). Bonus Trailers close out the extras. Disc two offers a DVD copy of the movie for those who are on the fence about making the upgrade to Blu-ray, along with a Digital Copy of the film.

SCOOBY-DOO! CURSE OF THE LAKE MONSTER offers live action silliness that will appeal to the kids. The Blu-ray presentation is pretty nice to look at, thanks to Dean Cundey’s ability to make modestly budgeted affairs look good.


Scooby-Doo!: Curse of the Lake Monster [Blu-ray]


DVD & Blu-ray Disc reviews are Copyright 2011 THE CINEMA LASER and may not be copied or reprinted without the written consent of the publisher.
THE CINEMA LASER is written, edited and published by Derek M. Germano.



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